Article and Photographs: Jonathan White
St Mary’s Church on Monks Lane in Acton, near Nantwich, hosted two royal-themed events over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend with an exhibition and a Tea at the Tower community café.
Both special events were free entry, with donations gratefully received, and started with an exhibition on Saturday 4th June illustrating key events throughout Her Majesty’s 70-year reign. The exhibition inside the church featured children’s royal artwork, the nation’s favourite cakes & bakes, a celebration of Royal photos, dresses from local family weddings over 70 years, numerous fashionable hats, models of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom – crown, orb and sceptre, honorary military positions held in the United Kingdom by the Queen, the fourteen UK Prime Ministers who have served the Queen from Churchill to Johnson, Royal Family tree, The Servant Queen and the King she Serves, the Queen’s horses, the Queen’s royal residences, Royal needlework, and a recreation of the Queen’s garden party. Whilst outside there was a treasure hunt, and a display of four classic country coaches outside the Grade II* listed ‘Glebe House’ adjacent to the church. Contributors to the exhibition included Acton CE Primary Academy, The Art Space (The Marina Gallery, Nantwich), Acton & Reaseheath Women’s Institute, Haughton, Faddiley and District Women’s Institute, Jude & the Age UK charity shop Nantwich, Messy Church, and members of the St Mary’s Acton congregation.
The following day, on Sunday 5th June, there was a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee themed version of the weekly ‘Tea at the Tower’ community café. There were a wide range of drinks, cakes, and sandwiches with seating & tables available throughout the church including under the tower, nave, extra aisles, chancel, and sanctuary. A five-piece Jubilee folk band, ‘Friends of Acton’ kept the atmosphere buzzing with vibrant excitement. Jessica Thayer (mezzo soprano), gave a moving rendition of Jerusalem and Rule Britannia before bringing the audience to their feet with a rousing, ‘National Anthem’. Duke of Edinburgh awarded, Keir Williams organised a game of Rounders in the rear garden of ‘Glebe House’. Several people came wearing red, white and blue and there were also attendees dressed as a Queen, a King and wearing a Royal bonnet. A best ‘crown’ competition was judged for both children and adults. Visitors could enjoy the royal-themed exhibition, vintage country buses. The Nantwich firefighters brought their Fire Engine too! There was also a Platinum Jubilee Church service in the church in the morning.
The exterior of the church was bedecked with red, white & blue bunting with the Union Jack flying atop the tower, whilst inside the church there was bunting from the flags of British Commonwealth countries.
A representative from St Mary’s Church, Acton said: “Acton Church and their community never cease to amaze me. Their teamwork and creativity are a joy to witness. This two-day event has been a spectacular success, marking this historic occasion as one to remember always.”
Other future events at St Mary’s Church, Acton:
- ‘Tea at the Tower’ – run by church volunteers and takes place every Sunday afternoon (2:30-4:30pm) throughout the year. Hot drinks and cakes are available. Donations are gratefully received.
- ‘Tea at the Tower’ guided monthly walks. The walks are at a relaxed pace and the 5-mile route will mainly involve canal towpath and lane walking and only a small number of stiles will be negotiated. Stout outdoor shoes or walking shoes/boots are recommended. Ample car parking is available in the Acton village car park. All are welcome, including dogs on leads. Donations are gratefully received. All walks start from St Mary’s Church, Acton at 1pm (please meet for 12.45pm at the Church), and for those who wish to indulge in cake and a drink, walkers will be back in time to visit the Acton Church ‘Tea at the Tower’ community café. The future dates for the walks are: Sunday 12th June, Sunday 3rd July (Summer Challenge walk, 8 miles), Sunday 7th August and Sunday 4th September.
All the events raise valuable funds for St Mary’s Church, Acton, a Grade 1 listed building.
Church Services at St Mary’s Church, Acton:
- Sundays – 8am Holy Communion on the 2nd & 4th Sundays, 11am Morning Service, 6.30pm Evening Service.
- Wednesdays – 10.30am Holy Communion. Please check noticeboard outside church for any changes.
- Messy Church for children on the third Sunday at 10am and a Toddler Group on alternate Wednesday mornings at 9.15am.